Archive for August, 2013

Today’s Total Public Spending = Entire 1961 U.S. Economy


Saturday August 31st, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 1:53pm PST   •   1 Comment

We’re always on the lookout for ways to describe gargantuan amount of spending done by government, and we found a neat example created by Kevin Erdmann, who simply graphed both the level of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product per Capita and the total amount of government expenditures at all levels (federal, state, and local)...
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A Bridge Far Too Expensive


Friday August 30th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:30am PST   •   2 Comments

Its safety is still in question, and parts remain unfinished, but the eastern span of the Bay Bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco is slated to open on September 3, the day after Labor Day. The Bay Area Toll Authority approved $5.6 million for a celebration, but California taxpayers might want to take an...
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Ruling-Class Travel Perks


Wednesday August 28th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:59am PST   •   3 Comments

The recession has been tough on American workers but overall rather kind to the federal ruling class. The Obama administration, for example, has not eliminated any federal agencies but did create a new one, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. But now comes a story that, due to the sequester, much of the U.S government...
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How Washington, D.C., Works, or Not, Part 5


Tuesday August 27th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:20am PST   •   2 Comments

We really didn’t set out to make an ongoing series out of these examples, but unfortunately, the politicians and bureaucrats in our nation’s capital keep providing fresh ones! Today’s example of bureaucrats putting themselves ahead of the interests of regular Americans comes to us from the pages of the Washington Post, which reports that...
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Government Mental Case


Monday August 26th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:40am PST   •   2 Comments

In 2004, nearly 54 percent of California voters approved Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act. State senate boss Darrell Steinberg, the measure’s original sponsor, wants President Obama to use it as a model for the nation. That is a bad idea, just like Proposition 63 itself. The measure slapped an additional 1 percent...
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TSA Imposes Double Jeopardy


Friday August 23rd, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:30am PST   •   6 Comments

Passing through the gauntlet of gruff Transportation Security Administration screeners is hardly a pleasant experience for anybody, especially the elderly, the disabled, and families with children. But all travellers will be delighted to learn that the TSA is forcing passengers to pass through screening twice on the same trip. For example, a traveler departing...
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Where Welfare Pays More Than Work


Thursday August 22nd, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:11am PST   •   25 Comments

Are government-provided welfare benefits in the U.S. too generous? The correct answer is “it depends”. Specifically, it depends on whether or not an individual who is able to take advantage of other options available to them to sustain their existence, such as earning income by working in a job, would reject those alternatives in...
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Federal Tutoring Program Designed to Fail


Wednesday August 21st, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:23am PST   •   1 Comment

Arne Duncan, federal education secretary, concedes that federally subsidized tutoring programs are academically ineffective. But according to a recent report the programs are also riddled with waste and fraud. Supplemental Educational Services (SES) traces back to Title 1, a 1965 federal program intending to improve academic achievement, and which now amounts to $14 billion....
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How Government Abuse Generates Waste – and Absurdity


Monday August 19th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:43am PST   •   1 Comment

Its academic reputation may fall short of Berkeley, UCLA and Stanford, but the University of California at Davis boasts a fine department of viticulture and enology. UC Davis also teaches how abuse can generate waste. The UC system, now headed by former Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, a politician and bureaucrat with no academic...
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U.S. National Debt Really over $70 Trillion?


Sunday August 18th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 2:20pm PST   •   6 Comments

University of California San Diego economist James Hamilton recently published a paper in which he added up all the off-balance sheet liabilities, or rather, the hidden debt obligations that the U.S. federal government isn’t acknowledging that it has on its books. In totaling up the numbers, Hamilton finds that the actual size of the...
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